One of my favorite shows, Pushing Daisies, is now… pushing daisies. Cheap, easy jokes aside, ABC announced today that they will not order more episodes for the show. While that’s not an official cancellation, it’s as good as such, so I’ll be wearing black tomorrow.
As much as I loved the show, I, along with practically everyone else, knew this was coming. The show, while still most excellent, had lost a little bit of its charm since the first season. We could blame the writers’ strike and the less than ideal timeslot, but I think the show probably did itself in. The whole idea behind the show: a cute, yet emotionally stunted pie-maker with the ability to raise the dead resurrects his murdered childhood sweetheart and they fall in love and make pies and attempt to build a life together despite the challenges of not being to touch and the girl having to stay in seclusion because everyone thinks she’s dead.
That’s a great story, no doubt, but every episode seems to rehash the same conflicts from the very first episode, and frankly, it gets old. The genius of the show, I think, lies in the ability of the writers to continuously introduce new obstacles and conflicts – Chuck’s relationship with her aunts, Olive’s unrequited love for Ned, and Ned’s eccentricities – against a backdrop of weekly adventures of murder/mystery/mayhem. And yet, that genius isn’t translating into viewers. I wonder of this show has fallen victim to the Serial Sickness, the unpredictable and lethal disease that plagues shows with a complicated plot and story-arcs lasting more than a week… A new viewer might find it difficult to jump in the middle, and meanwhile, the old viewers can’t stomach the constant rehashing and recapping. I mean, I’m a big fan, but if I have to hear Ned’s powers explained one more time, I may just tune out, too.
When you consider how bad the ratings have been for the second season, it’s easy to understand why ABC pulled the plug. Although, I wish they would let it finish out the rest of the season. The show won three Emmy’s, for god’s sake…
The good news, I suppose, would be the fanbase. Pushing Daisies has acquired a small but devoted fandom that will always be ready and willing to consume more. So the show might be dead, but the characters and story-lines will probably live on. There’s talk of a comic book, and perhaps even a movie. I would pay to see it, as long as the first 15 minutes aren’t spent explaining Ned’s powers… AGAIN!
All that said, I will miss this show very much… find out what and who I will miss most after the jump…
1. Lee Pace as Ned
Isn’t he a cutie? He’s such a good example of unconventionally attractive, I think. All the staples are there (tall, dark, handsome), but there’s a boyish, gawkish, nerdiness there too, which, when combined, equals swoon.
2. Chi McBride as Emerson Cod
This is just a brilliant character. He’s surly and sarcastic, but his heart is as big as his giant bald head. He also knits (big bonus). Most of the show’s best one-liners are uttered by Mr. McBride and his personal story-line has been particularly moving. I do hope we get to meet his daughter before the curtain goes down.
3. The styling
Much fuss was made about the show’s use of color, scenery, and music when it premiered, and rightly so… the vision and scope of the show are very ambitious. Considering the plot, this show could have gone very dark, but instead, everything is super-bright, super-fuzzy, and super-adorable. The whole production is visually stunning, and I’ll be sad to see that go away.
4. The Aunts
Talk about perfect casting. Swoosie Kurtz as the drunk, one-eyed menace and Ellen Greene as her withdrawn, sentimental sister are revelations on the small screen. If this show had performed better, they could have spun off their own show about synchronized swimming and highballs. Classic!
5. And finally, Kristin Chenoweth
This might be the saddest part of all! I love Kristin so much – it sucks that her first big chance at TV success has fallen away. I hope something else comes her way that is just as magical and perfectly suited to her. Her rendition of Hopelessly Devoted to You was one of the main reasons I fell in love with this show, and I’ll never forget Olive Snook’s adventures in the nunnery.
Oh, HUSH! Of course I love Anna Friel.
I’m not worried about her at all. She’s gorgeous and talented – she’ll find work again very soon.
And since I’ve managed to mention the entire cast, I’d be remiss to leave out Digby.
Dear, sweet, undead dog, Digby: I will miss you most of all.